Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Eleven

Where did the time go?



No. Really.

Wasn't it just yesterday that your father and I drove like mad down a lonely stretch of highway, to the same bayouside hospital where I was born, to await your arrival?

Wasn't it just yesterday that  I was standing in that cold hospital hallway, my eyes glued to that closed door, waiting for you to be born and waiting for your father to return from his "quick" errand?

Waiting for someone to come get me, for someone to tell me, "Yes. She is here! Yes, she really is yours"?

Wasn't it just yesterday that we wrapped you up in tiny pink clothes and took  you home with us forever?

Wasn't it?

It certainly feels like it sometimes.  Other times it feels like forever ago.

Eleven.


As of today you are 11 years old.  No longer just one syllable.

No longer my baby. Not even my little girl. A "Tween," who is nearly as tall as me. Who is nearly as tall as her teacher. And her principal.

Who has outgrown all of the children's sizes in the stores. Who can wear some of my clothes. Who fits in my shoes. Who refuses to wear pink or even dresses anymore. Who fights with me just to comb her hair.

Who hates to go to bed at night almost as much as she hates waking up in the morning.

Who snores like a pirate.

Who has no idea how to fold clothes or put them away, or how to match a pair of socks. Or make a bed.

But who can build her own web site with her eyes closed.

Who has perfected the eye roll.

Who speaks fluent sarcasm -- just like me.

Who loves a wizard named Harry Potter, freaky YouTube videos, Skype, the Annoying Orange, The Beatles, and Adele.

Who can sing like Adele.

Who loves reruns of  "Friends" and "Full House" and "My Little Pony" and anything on Teen Nick.

Who loves to draw, especially little characters with crazy hair and big, wide eyes and cartoons.

Who writes wonderful stories about people and things I never could have imagined, and spells everything correctly.

Who uses words like "inappropriate" -- when talking about my parenting.

Who doesn't let me car dance.

Who has brought more joy and light to my life than I ever could have imagined. Who makes me laugh and makes me cry -- often in the same moment.

Who lets dad wake you up a half an hour early in the morning so you can come cuddle with me, and still lets me cuddle with you at night. Who uses that time to tell me me your hopes and dreams and worries and fears and funny stories about your friends.

Who someday will look me in the eye and tell me you're going to the library to study and expect me to believe it.

Who will always be my little baby girl, no matter how tall you get or how many candles we put on your birthday cakes.

Who is my child, no matter what DNA or blood says.

Because I firmly believe that you were destined to be my child all along -- I just didn't know it, or that I was just waiting my whole life for you to get here.


 And you were so worth the wait.


Linking up with my friends at Yeah Write #42!
Write, Read and vote for your favorite 3.










Monday, January 23, 2012

Cupcakes and Canvases

First it was enough to just be pink.  And cute.

Then she wanted to be a princess.

Then she wanted to be a mermaid.  A pink one, of course.

Then it was a famous singer like Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus.

Then it was a wizard.

But in just the last 360-some-odd days, my darling daughter has gone from wanting to be a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, to wanting to be an artist. She went from wands to mechanical pencils and erasers, from spell books to a never-ending supply of sketchbooks.

It's tough to keep up.

And it's tough to come up with creative ideas for these annual birthday extravaganzas.

Oh, don't worry. We are never going to be on MTV. I promise. But I do love birthdays. My mother made sure of that. And I do want my daughter to love hers just as much. And I do love throwing parties and coming up with clever celebrations for a baby girl - who isn't quite a baby any more.  So I had to do something special as she is about to turn 11.

ELEVEN???? How did THAT happen??

What to do for a wanna-be artist?

Why, Cupcakes and Canvases -- of course!  I rented the local hall (so I wouldn't have to clean my house -- before or after), bought a bunch of canvases and paint brushes, (I already had a bunch of craft paint), a block of paper towels, some kid-sized aprons and we baked a batch of cupcakes.

Voila! Instant arty party!

I think it turned out great... 

Cupcakes!
          
And Canvases!           



The Artiste!



My grand-niece Madison, showing off her art work!

The gang, modeling their aprons. They also got a bunch of cupcake swag.



It really turned out great. ... Of course, the best thing was, I didn't have to mop.

Happy birthday, my girl!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Candles

It's my last week as the mom of a 10-year old.

That is sobering.

Although, you'd never know it...  She already looks 13.

The child has outgrown me. Seriously.

Granted, I'm only 5-foot-2, but I never dreamed my child would hover over me at the age of 10! I see the mothers of her friends who can still pick up their "little" girls and I get a little jealous. I can only pick up mine in the pool. With a bribe.

So tomorrow is her big birthday party for 11. "Cupcakes and Canvasses." An arty party. Tonight we'll make the cupcakes together (if I can get her off her laptop) and tomorrow we'll paint with her friends and cousins. I hope it goes well.

I posted this little slideshow last year in honor of her 10th birthday. I go a little wistful looking at it this morning.

So here it is again.... There will be a new one on Sunday.....

Birthday Candles



Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tune in tomorrow



After tomorrow they'll be gone forever.

My friends. My family. The people I have come to know so well over so many years. The ones I have come to count on nearly every day of the week.

These are the people that have always been there for me. And I've always been there for them -- well, on my days off, anyways, or days I was home sick.


I've been with them through thick and thin. Engagements. Weddings. Divorces. Reunions. Divorces. Reunions. Births. Deaths.  Back from the deaths. Visits to heaven. Time travel. Switched places. You name it, we've been through it all.

Or so it seems.

I became a lot more loyal once the VCR was invented. Better still with the DVR. And Soapnet. And the Internet (which gives spoilers!)

I'll admit there were times (years) when my interest waned. The 90s mostly. But still I tried to keep up with the comings and the goings, the who-was-doing-what, and who....

And yes, there were times I was jealous. Hey, some of those guys were hot.

Judge me if you want.

Yes I watch soap operas. Daytime dramas. Or, as my beloved Grannie used to call them, "the stories." I have for years. And I have thoroughly enjoyed them too.

Back when our TVs were black and white and there were only four channels to watch (one of them PBS), I first got hooked on the creepy old Dark Shadows, which used to air in the afternoons. I would rush home from school and my brother and I would eat pickles and watch together. Sometimes he would try to scare me by pretending he was a vampire. If you hold a glass of Coke up to the light, it kind of looks like blood.

Then sometime back in the early 1970s, when I'm sure I was home with one of my really bad cases of tonsillitis, I stumbled upon a soap opera. I don't know which came first -- All My Children, One Life to Live, General Hospital or The Edge of Night, but it was one of those.

I distinctly remember Erica Kane polishing her fingernails -- especially her "ring" finger -- because she expected to be getting a ring the next day. Of course I had to tune in tomorrow.

And I distinctly remember the first day I saw Laura and Scotty kissing under the Christmas tree and Laura tearfully (and way over dramatically) wishing on on the star. Then Scotty (who was a hottie!) pulled the ring out of his pocket. Of course I had to tune in tomorrow.

Years (and years) later, when Laura married that rogue Luke, my dorm room at Loyola  -- which had the biggest color TV on the campus -- was filled to capacity with a bunch of female class-cutters. We all screamed when Scotty caught the bouquet.

I used to watch The Edge of Night just because I liked the lady named Raven. And later the only person I had ever seen with a name spelled like mine -- Lori Loughlin. That one bit the dust first.

But my favorite has been One Life to Live. I will never forget the first day I saw it, with Karen Wolek on the witness stand, admitting she was a prostitute. Oh my God. Of course I had to tune in tomorrow -- and the next day, and the next. And many after that. How could I not with Marco Dane, the Buchanan Boys, Clint and Vicki, Bo and Nora, Tina and Cord, Gigi and Rex, Todd Manning and Starr, Dorian And Vicki! 


But last year, they wiped Pine Valley off the map. And tomorrow, the little town of Lanview will disappear too. Forever.

Now all that's left is Port Charles -- the town, not the soap.

I'm not one of those people who will protest or sign petitions. But I am one of those who will watch tomorrow and be sad to see it end.  And I'll watch GH as long as it stays in business, but I think most of us fans can see the writing on the wall. It's time will come too, and I will have to say goodbye to Sonny and Carly and Jason and Sam.

Then what will I tune in to tomorrow?





Monday, January 9, 2012

Going to the mall

When you grow up in a small town there isn't a whole lot to do.

When you grow up in a small town like mine, there's even less.

Oh sure. There was a bayou in my backyard, complete with snakes, a couple of live alligators and a pair of turtles I named Ethel and Fred. We had a boat, but it was my brother's. I never took off in it or anything. I rode my bike a lot.

There was a Kentucky Fried Chicken down the street, and my mom let me walk down sometimes to get a "suicide," -- a drink in which you would squirt a little from each of the options available at the drink fountain.

And there was a Shop-N-Bag across the street, where I would go to buy sour pickles and cokes after school (and later smokes because no one carded you back then.)

But the biggest thrill for us as pre-teens, tweens and even teenagers, was going to The Mall.

By mall standards, it's no Mall of America. Or Mall of Louisiana. It's just the mall of Houma. And it was about the only entertainment we had.

(I'm about to tell you how old I am, so get ready).


I can't even count the number of Saturdays I spent cruising the halls of the mall with my friends. Well, for a long time it was only one hall. One and a half if you count the one where the movie theater was. Now it's two. And a half. Sorta.

But we would spend hours, whole days even, walking up and down, looking for boys.  Going to the movies to watch "Jesus Christ Superstar" over and over and over again (13 times, actually).  Going to D.H. Holmes' to look at clothes (and to use their bathroom). Going to Sears to look at the record collection (and David Pere, who worked there). Going to the old K&B drug store to look at makeup and 16 Magazine, and ordering bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches at the old lunch counter. Going to the arcade to play pinball and air hockey and Space Invaders (I had high score for the longest time!). Going to the pet store to look at the cute puppies and the Nut House where my cousins worked.

And, later, going to the Lion's Share restaurant (that my mother insisted was a bar) to order cokes and hamburgers and rib eye steaks broiled in butter. I spent the night of my 17th birthday there -- with an 18th candle on my cake so I could drink (I live in Louisiana, people). And I met the boy I thought I was going to marry there on the first day of my senior year of high school. I used to visit him at the shoe store where he worked.

I still make occasional forays to this tiny Southland Mall, especially in the months after Hurricane Katrina pretty much shut down New Orleans and its suburbs. It's close enough. It's convenient. I know it. And it's, well, home.

Saturday afternoon I went back again. But this time was so, so different. This time, instead of leaving with something new, I left something.

I went to see a nice little man named Mr. Guidry, who owns this cute little shop called La.  Cajun Stuff. If you want or need anything purple-and-gold, black-and-gold, LSU or Saints related or marked with a fleur-de-lis, this is your place. He's got clothes and jewelry and accessories and home decor and CDs and DVDs and back scratchers made with alligator claws and a whole rack of books.

And now he has my book.

On his shelf.

In the mall.

In my mall. In my hometown.

How cool is that?

I can't even begin to tell you.










You can link up too!